Driving to Carle to have our babies on Tuesday was surreal. Fourteen and L came on their own time and both were born on Tuesdays in the wee hours of the morning. In fact they were born within a hour of each other – just 10 years apart. Picking a date and driving over was odd but given what our life has been the last 4 years, and the unwanted education I have received about birth traumas, it was best for my sanity to have the twins brought into the world safely. I had posted on Facebook that I had zero energy over the weekend and I basically didn’t get out of bed. I was having contractions but ignored it. Had other signs that made me pause and think “huh if I didn’t know better I would say I am in labor” – well I was in labor and it continued as I checked in for my section.
I do have pictures to share and will do that when they are in order. My doc is a also a good friend so it was an easy process to walk back, but I was questioning my decision to go ahead with the section. I was thinking about asking to be checked as the contractions were strong and coming every 4 minutes. I kept my mouth shut and figured that if I asked – the contractions would stop and I would be back at square one. Neil gave me the most amazing spinal block. If you ever need one I highly recommend him 🙂
Short story. I was dilated and would probably have had the babies on Tuesday no matter what. Baby A was head down, squashed into the birth canal and as one doc said “out of room” so she had to be pulled back out and our 2nd little girl was born at 12:07 p.m. I heard doc say “Baby B has turned and is now breech” and my decision to have the section was validated. Had I tried to deliver Baby A would have come out and then I would have been knocked out and Baby B delivered via section. Missing the births was never in my plan so all is well that ends well. Baby B was tucked up under my ribs on the left side but she is a beauty. Our 3rd girl born at 12:08.
I have been in tears off and on ever since. Yes it is true that postpartum is one of the most emotional times in a woman’s life however mine was a different sort of emotion.
Waiting for doctors and nurses to tell us the girls were OK. HARD. Waiting to hear their cries and signs of life – even harder. We were both all over the map holding our breath.
Both girls doing great, resting and I was up moving trying to get my body back on course and working properly. The nurses told me the best way was to get up and walk so that is what I did. I walked the halls of 11 North Tower. Kind of like I have walked the halls of 8 at the North Tower of Carle for the past 4 years. For very different reasons I was pacing the halls, listening to the sounds of people busily doing their work, sounds of babies, sounds of parents, family, and excited friends. Pacing up and down the hallway near the nursery watching babies of all sizes, shapes, and color come into the world. Watching life.
It was so very hard on me as I stopped to stretch and look out the same exact view that is on 8 only I am on a different floor, experiencing different emotions. Thinking of my girl Larkin. My girl. Now I have 2 more and it is so fascinating to me how when you have multiple children, you just love. Love them all the same and it wouldn’t matter if I had 4 or 10 – the deep aching life changing throw myself in front of a bullet or bus for them love – is the same.
But Larkin has been MY GIRL for over 4 years and she has given me my purpose, changed me as a person, shown me who God is, slowed me down and made me patient, long suffering, loved me in spite of my faults, given me more joy, peace, and moments of long-suffering, kindness, goodness, exercised my faith, mildness, and above all else learn what self-control is. Larkin is the very definition of the fruitages of the spirit written about in Galatians Chapter 5.
I was celebrating birth and yet aching for my little girl who I wanted to hold and squeeze. Because of H1N1 no one under the age of 18 is allowed on the maternity floor – which makes sense – but is still hard on a family when half are left out. Fourteen was first on the list to call and he and I shared excited love and details. Larkin and I can’t share that moment and that is what was so painful for me. I was without one of my most important core pieces of life – and there wasn’t anything to do about it. I wanted to hear her voice and giggles more than anything at this moment. Feel her chubby arms around my neck and breath in the smell of her essence. Share this oh so important part of life with her. That will have to wait and the blissful moments will come this I know but it was a painful moment none-the-less.
I felt as if I was leaving her out. One more thing in her life that because of her disabilities is “different”
I continued my walk/pacing. This floor is different for me now as I don’t take getting pregnant or giving birth lightly and am in full appreciation of just how fragile this moment in life is. Having a baby isn’t always a wonderful happy experience and I walked past room after room – wondering – are they getting news they don’t like? Is baby OK? Whispers in the halls between doctors and parents, watching grandparents standing in the hall while doctors visit with new parents. Were the whispers good things or are their lives about to forever change course just like ours 4 years prior.
My walk was taking me alongside the lives of others on 11. Watching their journey and not truly knowing was good as I was weaving my own story of them anyway. Young parents excited about their first child were dominate on the floor but I think it might have been 9 months after a party because there were a couple of teenagers on the floor as well. Made me chuckle a little bit and a little sad for how their lives are changed but who knows, the change might be the very best thing in their young lives. I don’t judge – just watched.
The girls are beautiful and Andy enjoyed childbirth, emotions, and life like never before. I was not in the same space he was emotionally because I have experienced Fourteen’s birth and late one evening at the hospital, he was standing next to the bed and said “I can’t help it but I keep waiting for a knock at the door and someone to come in and say that they need to talk with us about something. Waiting for the other shoe to drop with something wrong. But the pictures of the birth show different. They show a father who is beaming with pride and love just as he did when Larkin was born so while he is experiencing a different journey – the love he feels is the same.
My tears will ease over time. Larkin is on her way home for a first visit and Andy’s parents are amazing. They love her and are caring for her – but I have a deep deep need and ache for her so in a little bit she will be in my arms. The emotions flow in and out. Tears and an ache for my missing pieces. Thinking of how these two girls will change Larkin’s life and help her in ways that will amaze, astound, and fill our lives with joy. Of course my worries about getting these girls here safely are now on another course of watching their development over the years and while I understand I am not in control, I will watch like a hawk for developmental milestones. Because I don’t have enough to worry about. Insert laughter here.
Brin Murphy Armstrong 6.12, 19.5 inches born at 12:07
Erin McBrayer Armstrong 5.3, 18 inches born at 12:08
And their story begins.